214-826-3470 or 817-334-0228 expert@cnmconnect.org
Big Thought Published: February 8, 2018
Job Type


Purpose Statement:

The Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) is the executive leader of Big Thought’s (Organization) Development and Communications departments. The CAO advises the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on all matters related to the Organization’s fundraising, communication and advocacy strategies, and directs both the Fundraising and Communications teams to advance the Organization’s mission.

About Big Thought:
For 30 years, Big Thought has worked with local and national partners to bring tailored creative learning opportunities to kids in Dallas neighborhoods with the greatest need.  Big Thought focuses on programs that work with elementary, middle, and high school students to unlock their full potential and set them on a path to success.

#Big Thought Way:

Big Thought brings relentless optimism, innovation and imagination to everything we do.  Our kids come first and we use a collaborative, all hands on deck approach to ensure that they are served well.

Below you will find the primary job duties for this position.  In addition to these duties, everyone at Big Thought is asked to do whatever is needed to support our initiatives and events.  If you are flexible and thrive in a dynamic environment, Big Thought jobs provide interesting and challenging opportunities to make a difference.

Essential Job Duties:

  • Oversee all Advancement functions:
    • Fundraising: Develop and execute strategies for the cultivation and conversion of foundation, individual, corporate and planned giving prospects, based on fundraising goals set by the CEO and Board leadership; Serve as principal fundraiser for the Organization, identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors and prospects; Cultivate and increase the Organization’s contributed income from national funders; Establish, implement and manage revenue goals, performance objectives and action plans for members of the Organization’s Fundraising team.
    • Brand Management: Develop and execute comprehensive PR and marketing strategies; Build the digital brand and strategy to tell strategic stories that advance the Organization’s mission; Establish, implement and manage goals, performance objectives and action plans for members of the Organization’s Communications team.
    • Advocacy: Develop and execute a comprehensive Organizational Advocacy Plan; Work with others within the Organization to ensure the effectiveness of Advocacy efforts;
  • Guide and advise the CEO and the Executive Leadership Team in establishing short and long range organizational Advancement goals, consistent with the Organization’s Strategic Plan;
  • Collaborate with the CFO to develop and manage an annual expense budget supporting Advancement efforts;
  • Establish and direct best-practice standards, policies and procedures for Advancement efforts;
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, policies and agreements;
  • Work collaboratively with Programs and other departments to ensure that Advancement efforts (Fundraising, Communications and Advocacy) include stories/narratives/insights that are aligned, effective and consistent with the mission and goals of the Organization.

General Job Duties and Expectations:

  • Serve as spokesperson for the Organization: 1) at presentations with donors/prospects, 2) in defining the Organization’s “brand” and 3) when managing crisis communications;
  • Conduct departmental meetings;
  • Represent Advancement on the Executive Leadership Team;
  • Work closely with both Development and Communications committees of the Board of Directors on various fundraising and marketing initiatives.

Required Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution;
  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution, preferred;
  • CFRE accreditation a plus;
  • 10-15 years of experience and a demonstrated track record of accomplishments in nonprofit fundraising;
  • Experience in marketing and communications management;
  • Experience in a senior leadership role in a nonprofit preferred;
  • Strong strategic leadership, communication and organizational skills and experience in the development, management, support of and the inspiration of staff in carrying out Advancement strategies and goals;
  • Effective work relationships with staff, board, volunteers and partners;
  • Well-developed interpersonal communication skills and strong writing ability;
  • Ability to organize and synthesize data in an understandable format for a variety of audiences;
  • Ability to respond well to shifting priorities and changing work situations; ability to work effectively in ambiguous situations; ability to develop new skills to remain competitive; ability to adapt to change; ability to find merit in differing positions and adapt strategies in response to new information or changes to a situation;
  • Ability to exercise initiative, sound judgment and problem-solving techniques;
  • Highly organized and self-directed

Additional Information:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job, but are not all inclusive:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may regularly be required to:

  • read, count, and write to accurately complete all documentation and communications
  • use keyboard extensively and stare at computer screen for long periods of time
  • open/close drawers
  • lift or carry 10lbs. of weight or heavier
  • stand or sit for extended periods of time
  • work in environment with loud sounds, multiple distractions and interruptions

Interested candidates please submit resume (may include cover letter) to jobs@bigthought.org. No phone calls please.

NOTE:  This job description is not an employment agreement or contract.  The CEO and/or designee has the exclusive right to alter this job description at any time without notice.

Employees of Big Thought are expected, as required in their specific job functions, to participate in activities, meetings, and committees; to interact and work cooperatively in order to accomplish various goals; to represent one’s self and Big Thought in a positive, professional manner; and to safeguard sensitive or confidential information from intentional or unintentional disclosure. 

Employees are expected to maintain current working knowledge of policies, procedures and guidelines necessary to answer work-related questions and to provide assistance in a timely and courteous manner.  Employees are also expected to perform other duties as may be assigned by their supervisor and to contribute to the team efforts of the department and to assist the organization in achieving its strategic goals.  

Employees must abide by all laws, Big Thought policies, and guidelines.

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